Saturday, 13 October 2012

DIY gaming board on a budget

At the back end of November, Tony is coming back up Norf for a weekend of beer, food and 40K.  This is a good thing.

I had a think about where we can set up and fight, unfortunately Barnsley isn't overly populated with gamers, therefore gaming clubs are a bit thin on the ground.  I didn't really want to go back to when we were kids and use the living room carpet and use breakfast cereal boxes as hills, so I set out to make a board.

First things first, I had to come up with a plan. Living in a small terraced house means space is limited so a solid 6'x4' board with its own place was a no no. The board had to be modular, lightweight, durable and cheap. The GW modular board is most awesome, but at £170-odd quid it was out of my price bracket apparently as "the kids need food, Tom" my other half said.

I picked up six 2'x2' styrofoam boards from Antenocitis Workshop for £21.

Boards, on the table, that's it really.
I gave them a base coat of Polycell Basecoat that I had lying around in the cellar. The basecoat took about 7 hours to dry, so I took this opportunity to watch a load of Game of Thrones.

Basecoated, drying in the garden, one or two of the boards now smell like Lemon Thyme.
When they finally dried I covered them in PVA glue scattered a mix of medium ballast and bird cage sand over and left to dry again giving me the opportunity to finish off season one of Game of Thrones. When that was all dry and stuff I gave it a couple of coats of black spray, nowt fancy just wilko's own black crap, works well on things like this but I wouldn't even let it near a miniature. When the spray coat was dry I over-brushed them with various browns, reds and oranges and then 2 coats of clear mat varnish to stop the sand from rubbing off. As a final touch I lobbed some green scatter on. The bird cage sand is brilliant, a 1kg bag for a quid did all six tiles and has a great range of grain sizes.

Quick and cheap. Job done.
The overall result isn't going to blow anyone's minds, but for about 12hrs work (including drying times) and about £40 I ain't complaining. I've got a full sized board I can store in my cellar, weighs nothing, can be set up anywhere in less than 20 seconds and it can fit in the boot of a car.

Now, terrain....

Today I'll leave you with this:

The ridiculous Captain Cortez sculpt receives the truly awful paint job it deserves from my 7 year old. Honestly this figure makes me weep. What were GW thinking when they okay'd this sculpt!?


  1. I'm really looking forward to that weekend. Blood will be shed, food eaten, beer drank.

    Will try and box up those bits of terrain I've got laying about the place and post them on to you at some point this week...

    Captain Cortez - an incredibly poor sculpt. Whoever created that truly deserves to be fed to the greenskins. I can only say that Wez has exponentially improved the good fellow's visage - good job, young man!!

  2. Hands up, if you use Right Guard!

    Wow, impressive gaming board and so cheap! Wonder what I could come up with over here in California.....?


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